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Who Is Hit Hardest during a Financial Crisis? The Vulnerability of Young Men and Women to Unemployment in an Economic Downturn

  • Verick, Sher

    ()

    (ILO International Labour Organization)

The current financial and economic crisis has resulted in the worst global recession since World War II. The subsequent destruction of jobs and increased duration of joblessness will ensure that unemployment across the world will continue to rise and stay stubbornly high for some time to come, well after the economy has begun to recover. Beyond this generalization, such downturns have more adverse implications for vulnerable segments of the population such as youth. As presented in this paper, data for both the current and previous financial crises reveals that young people are indeed hit hardest as reflected by rising unemployment rates, which persist long after the economy is growing again. In the wake of the present downturn, young men have been particularly affected, which has been driven by a range of factors including the high proportion of young men in heavily impacted sectors such as construction. In response to this situation, policymakers should utilize targeted crisis interventions that aim to keep youth employed where possible, while also assisting new entrants and those who have lost jobs find employment (or at a minimum stay attached to the labour force), particularly as the economy recovers.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4359.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Iyanatul Islam and Sher Verick (eds.), From the Great Recession to Labour Market Recovery: Issues, Evidence and Policy Options, Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK; ILO/Palgrave Macmillan, 2010
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4359
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  1. Bell, David & Blanchflower, David, 2009. "What should be done about rising unemployment in the UK?," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2009-06, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  2. Reinhart, Carmen M. & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2009. "Banking Crises: An Equal Opportunity Menace," CEPR Discussion Papers 7131, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2008. "Is the 2007 U.S. Sub-Prime Financial Crisis So Different? An International Historical Comparison," NBER Working Papers 13761, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Seppo Honkapohja & Erkki Koskela, 1999. "The economic crisis of the 1990s in Finland," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 14(29), pages 399-436, October.
  5. David Haugh & Patrice Ollivaud & David Turner, 2009. "The Macroeconomic Consequences of Banking Crises in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 683, OECD Publishing.
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